Nine Carols And Nine Lessons

This time of year is full of countdowns. Sleeps until Christmas, the Twelve Days, the chocolate countdown of the Advent calendar…

Cadbury's Advent Calendar

Cadbury’s Advent Calendar

But one of the more wholesome staples of our Christmas numerological experience is the classic service of nine carols and nine readings. It began in Truro in Cornwall with a service on Christmas Eve in 1880 organised by Bishop Benson, which has survived unaltered in essence to the present day.

Truro Cathedral

Truro Cathedral

Truro cathedral was being rebuilt at the time, and that 1880 service took place in a temporary wooden building which served as a cathedral for the duration of those works. It has been said that an ulterior motive to creating this ecclesiastical entertainment was to keep people out of the bars on Christmas Eve. It seems just as likely, however, that it was an effort to create an accessible liturgical narrative. With singing. Everybody likes singing at a party. Continue reading

Eamonn O’Doherty’s Crann an Óir Was Unveiled 25 Years Ago Today

Sculptor, Eamonn O'Doherty


Sculptor, Eamonn O’Doherty

Sculptor Eamonn O’Doherty’s iconic Crann an Óir sculpture was unveiled by the then Taoiseach Charles J. Haughey on this day in 1991.

Although the Central Bank is due to move to new premises which should be finished by the end of the year, it was reported in August that the Crann an Óir will stay at its present site, despite earlier indications that it would be moved.

Derry-born sculptor O’Doherty, who died in 2011, lectured in architecture in DIT Bolton Street and elsewhere. He received a number of commissions for public sculptures including those in the slideshow below.

The Governor of the Central Bank, Philip R. Lane, is to host a lunch for family and colleagues of the late sculptor to mark the 25th anniversary of the statue’s unveiling.

Crann Oir
Crann Oir outside the Central Bank in Dame Street. Eamonn O'Doherty's sculpture was unveiled 25 years ago today.
James Connolly Memorial
O'Doherty's James Connolly Memorial in Beresford Place
Great Hunger Memorial
O'Doherty's Great Hunger Memorial in Westchester, New York
Emigrants Sculpture
The Emigrants sculpture in O'Doherty's native Derry.

Doctor Millar And The Cute Hoors Will Release that Difficult Second Album After More Than 20 Years Pause For Thought

Earlier this year I spoke with Sean (Doctor) Millar about the resurrection of 90s cult band Doctor Millar And the Cute Hoors after a hitaus of 20 years or more since they formed in London in the early 90s.

We spoke about how they came together, how they then became a little known casualty of Italia ’90, and how they recently came back together and played and found that it was good.

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“Venom So Sweet”: New Play By Roger Gregg Presented By Little Shadow Theatre Company

roger-gregg-as-legion-venom-so-sweet

Roger Gregg, Author of “Venom So Sweet”, who also plays “Legion” in the piece.

Having climbed the many steps to Theatre Upstairs, the audience enters the theatre to discover we have in fact descended into the murky depths inhabited by the soul of Legion and his three demonic companions.

Played by the author of Venom So Sweet, Roger Gregg, and named after his biblical antecedent (Mark 5:9), Legion is a wild-eyed, bearded conman-preacher, plying his trade among the frontiersmen and “savages” on the American West in the 19th century. As we enter, he is suspended in chains from the wooden supports in a hellish mineshaft. The smoky atmosphere and the ethereal vocal harmonies of his companions draw us down into this claustrophobic netherworld.

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